NBC's "Last Comic Standing" surged week to week as it closed its season strong Thursday, a night that also saw gains for Fox's more modestly rated "Gang Related," which was wrapping its season as well. CBS' "Big Brother" continued to rule as the night's top program in key demos.
According to affiliate-based "live plus same-day" estimates from Nielsen, NBC followed a repeat "Hollywood Game Night" (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) with the two-hour season finale of "Last Comic Standing" (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall). "Comic" was up 40% or more vs. last week in both 18-49 and total viewers, its best score in the former in nine weeks. It was down a tick in the demo and up 25% in total viewers from its year-ago finale.
At Fox, a repeat "Sleepy Hollow" (0.4/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) was followed by the season finale of "Gang Related" (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth in the demo and by more than 300,000 total viewers from the previous week. Though not a strong performer, "Gang Related" was pretty steady during its run and held up well when its strong "Hell's Kitchen" lead-in went away last month.
CBS won Thursday's opening hour with encores of "The Big Bang Theory" (1.5/7 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and "Mom" (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and then spiked in the demo at 9 p.m. with "Big Brother" (2.2/7 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which was Thursday's No. 1 series in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.5/7) and was up slightly week to week. A repeat "Elementary" closed out the night (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).
Numbers for ABC are subject to revision in the nationals due to a preemption for Bears football in Chicago, which artificially inflated the net's program averages in the market. As it currently stands, reality show "The Quest" was steady week to week kicking off the night (0.6/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall). It was followed by drama "Rookie Blue" (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), which was up two tenths from last week, and medical docuseries "NY Med" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which was flat in the demo and up in total viewers as it wrapped its season.
On average during its second-season run, "NY Med" was up 25% in total viewers (6.0 million vs. 4.8 million) over its first season two years ago. It led its hour in total viewers most weeks.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS and Univision, 1.4/5; NBC, 1.3/5; ABC, 0.9/3; Fox and Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.
In total viewers: CBS, 5.5 million; NBC, 4.5 million; ABC, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.6 million; Fox, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million; CW, 0.5 million.